Governorate of Livonia
The Governorate of Livonia was one of the Baltic governorates of the Russian Empire, now divided between the Republic of Latvia and the Republic of Estonia. Following the capitulation of Estonia and Livonia in 1710, Peter the Great, on July 28, 1713, created the Riga Governorate which included Smolensk Uyezd, Dorogobuzh Uyezd, Roslavl Uyezd and Vyazma Uyezd of Smolensk Governorate. Smolensk Province was created from territory in Smolensk Governorate at that time, it was incorporated into Smolensk Governorate when it was reformed in 1726. Sweden formally ceded Swedish Livonia to Russia in 1721 with the Treaty of Nystad. In 1722 Tartu County was added to Riga Governorate. In 1726 Smolensk Governorate was separated from Governorate, which now had five provinces: Rīga, Cēsis, Tartu, Pärnu and Saaremaa. In 1783 the Sloka County was added. On July 3, 1783 Catherine the Great reorganized Governorate into Riga Lieutenancy. Only in 1796, after the Third Partition of Poland this territory was renamed as the Governorate of Livonia.
Until the late 19th century the governorate was not ruled by Russian laws but was administered autonomously by the local German Baltic nobility through a feudal Landtag. German nobles insisted on preserving their privileges and use of the German language. In 1816 Tsar Alexander liberated the serfs of Livonia, in a precursor to his plans for the rest of Russia. After the Russian February Revolution in 1917, the northern part of the Governorate of Livonia was combined with the Governorate of Estonia to form a new Autonomous Governorate of Estonia; the Autonomous Governorate of Estonia issued the Estonian Declaration of Independence on 24 February 1918, one day before it was occupied by German troops during World War I. With the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk on 3 March 1918, Bolshevik Russia accepted the loss of the Livland Governorate and by agreements concluded in Berlin on 27 August 1918, the Autonomous Governorate of Estonia and the Governorate of Livonia were severed from Russia; the Governorate of Livonia was divided into 9 counties.
Note: After the February Revolution based on declaration of the Provisional Government of Russia of 30 March 1917 "About the autonomy of Estland", the Government of Livland was divided: five northern counties with the Estonian population as well as the populated by the Estonians townships of Walk county were all included into the composition of the neighboring Governorate of Estonia. However the new border between the Governments of Estonia and Livland was never properly demarcated. By the Imperial census of 1897. In bold are languages spoken by more people than the state language. Administrative divisions of Russia in 1713-1714 Baltic governorates Courland Governorate Estonia Governorate Livonian Confederation
Kunda Culture, originating from the Swiderian culture, comprised mesolithic hunter-gatherer communities of the Baltic forest zone extending eastwards through Latvia into northern Russia, dating to the period 8500–5000 BC according to calibrated radiocarbon dating. It is named after the Estonian town of Kunda, about 110 kilometres east of Tallinn along the Gulf of Finland, near where the first extensively studied settlement was discovered on Lammasmäe Hill and in the surrounding peat bog; the oldest known Kunda culture settlement in Estonia is Pulli. The Kunda Culture was succeeded by the Narva culture, who used pottery and showed some traces of food production. Most Kunda settlements are located near the edge of the forests beside lakes, or marshes. Elk were extensively hunted helped by trained domestic hunting-dogs. On the coast seal hunting is represented. Pike and other fish were taken from the rivers. There is a rich bone and antler industry in relation to fishing gear. Tools were decorated with simple geometric designs, lacking the complexity of the contemporary Maglemosian Culture communities to the southwest.
The Kunda culture appears to have undergone a transition from the Palaeolithic Swiderian culture located over much of the same range. One such transition settlement, Pasieniai 1C in Lithuania, features stone tools of both Late Swiderian and early Kunda. One shape manufactured in both cultures is the retouched tanged point; the final Swiderian is dated 7800–7600 BC by calibrated radiocarbon dating, in the Preboreal period, at the end of which time with no gap the early Kunda begins. Evidently the descendants of the Swiderians were the first to settle Estonia when it became habitable. Other post-Swiderian groups extended as far east as the Ural mountains. Kunda, Estonia Pulli, Estonia Luga Pasieniai, Lithuania Ristola, Finland Velizh Zvejnieki, Latvia
Principality of Koknese
The Principality of Koknese was a small vassal state of the Principality of Polotsk on the right bank of the Daugava River in ancient Livonia during the Middle Ages. At the beginning of the 13th century, when the crusading Livonian Brothers of the Sword led by bishop Albert of Riga began to occupy the shores of the Gulf of Riga, the Orthodox prince Vetseke ruled the fortress of Koknese some 100 km upstream. According to old sources, Vetseke gave half of his land to Albert of Riga in 1205 in return for protection against the Duchy of Samogitia. During one of their raids he was released by order of the bishop; when the bishop left for Germany Vetseke rebelled, killed all the Germans in Koknese and called on Polotsk for support. The bishop and his army returned and Vetseke burned his castle and fled to Novgorod. By 1209 Koknese had been taken over by the Brothers of the Sword and the sovereignty of Polotsk was revoked in 1215; the knights controlled the town until it was transferred to the Bishopric of Riga in 1238.
Archaeological excavations in Koknese showed that town in the 13th century was inhabited by latgalians and selonians with small Slavic minority. Koknese Castle Генрих Латвийский Хроника Ливонии Генрих Латвийский Хроника Ливонии
The Finnic peoples or Baltic Finns consist of the peoples inhabiting the region around the Baltic Sea in Northern Europe who speak Finnic languages, including the Finns proper, Karelians, Izhorians and Livonians as well as their descendants worldwide. In some cases the Kvens, Ingrians and speakers of Meänkieli are included separately rather than being a part of Finns proper; the bulk of the Finnic peoples are ethnic Finns and Estonians, who reside in the only two independent Finnic nation states – Finland and Estonia. Finnic peoples are significant minority groups in neighbouring countries of Sweden and Russia. According to the Migration Theory, based on comparative linguistics, the proto-Finns migrated from an ancient homeland somewhere in northwestern Siberia or western Russia to the shores of the Baltic Sea around 1000 BC, at which time Finns and Estonians separated; the Migration Theory has been called into question since 1980, based on genealogy and archaeology. A modified form of the Migration Theory has gained new support among the younger generation of linguists, who consider that archaeology, genes or craniometric data cannot supply evidence of prehistoric languages.
During the last 30 years, scientific research in physical anthropology, craniometric analyses, the mitochondrial and Y-chromosomal DNA frequencies have reduced the likelihood of the Migration Theory - a major westward migration as as 3,000 years ago. The Settlement Continuity Theory asserts that at least the genetic ancestors of the Finno-Ugric peoples were among the earliest indigenous peoples of Europe; the origin of the people who lived in the Baltic Sea area during the Mesolithic Era continues to be debated by scientists. From the middle of the Neolithic onwards, there is agreement to a certain extent among scholars: it has been suggested that Finno-Ugric tribes arrived in the Baltic region from the east or southeast 4000–3000 BC by merging with the original inhabitants, who adopted the proto-Finno-Ugric language and the Pit–Comb Ware culture of the newcomers; the members of this new Finno-Ugric-speaking ethnic group are regarded as the ancestors of modern Estonians. The Y-chromosomal data has revealed a common Finno-Ugric ancestry for the males of the neighboring Balts, speakers of the Indo-European Baltic languages.
According to the studies, Baltic males are most related to the Finno-Ugric-speaking Volga Finns such as the Mari, rather than to Baltic Finns. The results suggest that the territories of Estonia and Lithuania have been settled by Finno-Ugric-speaking tribes since the early Mesolithic period. On the other hand, some linguists do not consider it that a Baltic-Finnic language form could have existed at such an early date. According to these views, the Finno-Ugric languages appeared in Finland and Baltic only during the Early Bronze Age, if not later; the Finnic peoples share a common cultural heritage: the art of ancient "rune" singing in the Kalevala meter, estimated to be 2,500–3,000 years old. The Finnish and Estonian national epics and Kalevipoeg, are both written in this meter; the Veps are the only Baltic Finnish people with no significant corpus of Kalevala meter oral poetry. The poetic tradition has included lyric poems and magic chants; the ancient rune singing has inspired the creation of the national epic of Finland, Kalevala compiled by Elias Lönnrot, the music of Arvo Pärt, the best known Estonian composer in the classical field.
J. R. R. Tolkien has highlighted the importance of Kalevala as a source for his legendarium, including The Silmarillion and The Lord of the Rings; the region has been populated since the end of the last glacial era, about 10,000 BC. The earliest traces of human settlement are connected with Kunda culture; the Early Mesolithic Pulli settlement is located by the Pärnu River. It has been dated to the beginning of the 9th millennium BC; the Kunda Culture received its name from the Lammasmäe settlement site in northern Estonia, which dates from earlier than 8500. Bone and stone artefacts similar to those found at Kunda have been discovered elsewhere in Estonia, as well as in Latvia, northern Lithuania and southern Finland. Around 5300 BCE pottery and agriculture entered Finland; the earliest representatives belong to the Pit–Comb Ware culture, known for their distinctive decorating patterns. This marks the beginning of the Neolithic, Until the early 1980s, the arrival of Finnic peoples, the ancestors of the Estonians and Livonians on the shores of the Baltic Sea around 3000 BC, was associated with the Pit–Comb Ware culture However, such a linking of archaeologically defined cultural entities with linguistic ones cannot be proven and it has been suggested that the increase of settlement finds in the period is more to have been associated with an economic boom related to the warming of climate.
Some researchers have argued that a form of Uralic languages may have been spoken in Estonia and Finland since the end of the last glaciation. The beginning of the Bronze Age in Estonia is dated to 1800 BC, in present-day Finland some time after 1500 BCE; the coastal regions of Finland were a part of the Nordic Bronze Culture, whereas in the inland regions the influences came from the bronze-using cultures of Northern Russia. The development of the borders between the Finnic peoples and the Balts was under way; the first fortified settlements and Ridala on the island of Saaremaa and Iru in the Northern Estonia, began to be built. The development of shipb
Latvia the Republic of Latvia, is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. Since its independence, Latvia has been referred to as one of the Baltic states, it is bordered by Estonia to the north, Lithuania to the south, Russia to the east, Belarus to the southeast, shares a maritime border with Sweden to the west. Latvia has 1,957,200 inhabitants and a territory of 64,589 km2; the country has a temperate seasonal climate. After centuries of Swedish and Russian rule, a rule executed by the Baltic German aristocracy, the Republic of Latvia was established on 18 November 1918 when it broke away and declared independence in the aftermath of World War I. However, by the 1930s the country became autocratic after the coup in 1934 establishing an authoritarian regime under Kārlis Ulmanis; the country's de facto independence was interrupted at the outset of World War II, beginning with Latvia's forcible incorporation into the Soviet Union, followed by the invasion and occupation by Nazi Germany in 1941, the re-occupation by the Soviets in 1944 to form the Latvian SSR for the next 45 years.
The peaceful Singing Revolution, starting in 1987, called for Baltic emancipation from Soviet rule and condemning the Communist regime's illegal takeover. It ended with the Declaration on the Restoration of Independence of the Republic of Latvia on 4 May 1990, restoring de facto independence on 21 August 1991. Latvia is a democratic sovereign state, parliamentary republic and a highly developed country according to the United Nations Human Development Index, its capital Riga served as the European Capital of Culture in 2014. Latvian is the official language. Latvia is a unitary state, divided into 119 administrative divisions, of which 110 are municipalities and nine are cities. Latvians and Livonians are the indigenous people of Latvia. Latvian and Lithuanian are the only two surviving Baltic languages. Despite foreign rule from the 13th to 20th centuries, the Latvian nation maintained its identity throughout the generations via the language and musical traditions. However, as a consequence of centuries of Russian rule and Soviet occupation, Latvia is home to a large number of ethnic Russians, some of whom have not gained citizenship, leaving them with no citizenship at all.
Until World War II, Latvia had significant minorities of ethnic Germans and Jews. Latvia is predominantly Lutheran Protestant, except for the Latgale region in the southeast, predominantly Roman Catholic; the Russian population are Eastern Orthodox Christians. Latvia is a member of the European Union, Eurozone, NATO, the Council of Europe, the United Nations, CBSS, the IMF, NB8, NIB, OECD, OSCE, WTO. For 2014, the country was listed 46th on the Human Development Index and as a high income country on 1 July 2014. A full member of the Eurozone, it began using the euro as its currency on 1 January 2014, replacing the Latvian lats; the name Latvija is derived from the name of the ancient Latgalians, one of four Indo-European Baltic tribes, which formed the ethnic core of modern Latvians together with the Finnic Livonians. Henry of Latvia coined the latinisations of the country's name, "Lettigallia" and "Lethia", both derived from the Latgalians; the terms inspired the variations on the country's name in Romance languages from "Letonia" and in several Germanic languages from "Lettland".
Around 3000 BC, the proto-Baltic ancestors of the Latvian people settled on the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea. The Balts established trade routes to Byzantium, trading local amber for precious metals. By 900 AD, four distinct Baltic tribes inhabited Latvia: Curonians, Selonians, Semigallians, as well as the Finnic tribe of Livonians speaking a Finnic language. In the 12th century in the territory of Latvia, there were 14 lands with their rulers: Vanema, Bandava, Duvzare, Megava, Pilsāts, Upmale, Sēlija, Jersika, Tālava and Adzele. Although the local people had contact with the outside world for centuries, they became more integrated into the European socio-political system in the 12th century; the first missionaries, sent by the Pope, sailed up the Daugava River in the late 12th century, seeking converts. The local people, did not convert to Christianity as as the Church had hoped. German crusaders were sent, or more decided to go on their own accord as they were known to do. Saint Meinhard of Segeberg arrived in Ikšķile, in 1184, traveling with merchants to Livonia, on a Catholic mission to convert the population from their original pagan beliefs.
Pope Celestine III had called for a crusade against pagans in Northern Europe in 1193. When peaceful means of conversion failed to produce results, Meinhard plotted to convert Livonians by force of arms. In the beginning of the 13th century, Germans ruled large parts of today's Latvia. Together with Southern Estonia, these conquered areas formed the crusader state that became known as Terra Mariana or Livonia. In 1282, the cities of Cēsis, Limbaži, Koknese and Valmiera, became part of the Hanseatic League. Riga became an important point of east-west trading and formed close cultural links with Western Europe. After the Livonian War, Livonia fell under Lithuanian rule; the southern part of Estonia and the northern part of Latvia were ceded to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and formed into the Duchy of Livonia. Gotthard Kettler, the last Master of
Narva culture or eastern Baltic was a European Neolithic archaeological culture found in present-day Estonia, Lithuania, Kaliningrad Oblast, adjacent portions of Poland and Russia. A successor of the Mesolithic Kunda culture, Narva culture continued up to the start of the Bronze Age; the technology was that of hunter-gatherers. The culture was named after the Narva River in Estonia; the people of the Narva culture had little access to flint. For example, there were few flint arrowheads and flint was reused; the Narva culture relied on local materials. As evidence of trade, researchers found pieces of pink flint from Valdai Hills and plenty of typical Narva pottery in the territory of the Neman culture while no objects from the Neman culture were found in Narva. Heavy use of bones and horns is one of the main characteristics of the Narva culture; the bone tools, continued from the predecessor Kunda culture, provide the best evidence of continuity of the Narva culture throughout the Neolithic period.
The people were buried on their backs with few grave goods. The Narva culture used and traded amber. One of the most famous artifacts is a ceremonial cane carved of horn as a head of female elk found in Šventoji; the people were fishers and gatherers. They began adopting husbandry in middle Neolithic, they were not nomadic and lived in same settlements for long periods as evidenced by abundant pottery and structures built in lakes and rivers to help fishing. The pottery had specific characteristics. One of the most persistent features was mixing clay with other organic matter, most crushed snail shells; the pottery was made of 6-to-9 cm wide clay strips with minimal decorations around the rim. The vessels were large; the bottoms were pointed or rounded, only the latest examples have narrow flat bottoms. From mid-Neolithic Narva pottery was influenced and disappeared into the Corded Ware culture. For a long time archaeologists believed that the first inhabitants of the region were Finno-Ugric, who were pushed north by people of the Corded Ware culture.
In 1931, Latvian archeologist Eduards Šturms was the first to note that artifacts found near Zebrus Lake in Latvia were different and belonged to a separate archaeological culture. In early 1950s settlements on the Narva River were excavated. Lembit Jaanits and Nina Gurina grouped the findings with similar artifacts from eastern Baltic region and described the Narva culture. At first it was believed. However, newer research extended it up to the Bronze Age; as Narva culture spanned several millennia and encompassed a large territory, archaeologists attempted to subdivide the culture into regions or periods. For example, in Lithuania two regions are distinguished: southern and western. There is an academic debate what ethnicity represented the Narva culture: Finno-Ugrians or other Europids, preceding arrival of the Indo-Europeans, it is unclear how the Narva culture fits with the arrival of the Indo-Europeans and formation of the Baltic tribes. Overview of Neolithic sites on Narva River in Estonia
Terra Mariana was the official name for Medieval Livonia or Old Livonia, formed in the aftermath of the Livonian Crusade in the territories comprising present day Estonia and Latvia. It was established on 2 February 1207, as a principality of the Holy Roman Empire but lost this status in 1215 when proclaimed by Pope Innocent III as directly subject to the Holy See. Terra Mariana was divided into feudal principalities by Papal Legate William of Modena: Duchy of Estonia Archbishopric of Riga Bishopric of Courland Bishopric of Dorpat Bishopric of Ösel-Wiek Military administration of the Livonian Brothers of the SwordAfter the 1236 Battle of Saule the surviving members of the Brothers merged in 1237 with the Teutonic Order of Prussia and became known as the Livonian Order. In 1346 the Order bought Danish Estonia. Throughout the existence of medieval Livonia there was a constant struggle over supremacy, between the lands ruled by the Church, the Order, the secular German nobility and the citizens of the Hanseatic towns of Riga and Reval.
Following its defeat in the Battle of Grunwald in 1410 the Teutonic Order and the Ordensstaat fell into decline but the Livonian Order managed to maintain its independent existence. In 1561, during the Livonian war, Terra Mariana ceased to exist, its northern parts were ceded to the Swedish Empire and formed into the Duchy of Estonia, its southern territories became part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania — and thus of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth — as the Duchy of Livonia and the Duchy of Courland and Semigallia. The island of Saaremaa became part of Denmark. Since the beginning of the 20th century Terra Mariana has been used as a poetic name or sobriquet for Estonia. In 1995 the Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana, a state decoration, was instituted to honor the independence of Estonia; the lands on the eastern shores of the Baltic Sea were the last part of Europe to be Christianized by the Roman Catholic Church. In 1193 Pope Celestine III called for a crusade against the pagans in Northern Europe.
This crusade is compared to the crusade of the Franks and Charlemagne. However, this crusade was not announced until 1197 or 1198, but the first account of this crusade is in a letter by Pope Innocent III. At the beginning of the 13th century, German crusaders from Gotland and the northern Holy Roman Empire conquered the Livonian and Latvian lands along the Daugava and Gauja rivers; the stronghold of Riga was established in 1201, in 1202 the Livonian Brothers of the Sword was formed as a branch of the Knights Templar. In 1218 Pope Honorius III gave Valdemar II of Denmark free rein to annex as much land as he could conquer in Estonia. Additionally Albert of Riga, leader of the crusaders fighting the Estonians from the south, paid a visit to the German King Philip of Swabia and asked permission to attack the Estonians from the North; the last to be subjugated and Christianised were Oeselians and Semigallians. This crusade differed from many other crusades because, in this case, the Pope allowed people intending to go on a crusade to the Holy Land to go instead to crusade in Livonia.
Members of this crusade were made to wear the insignia of the cross as well, which showed that they were bound to the crusade. After the success of the crusade, the German- and Danish-occupied territory was divided into feudal principalities by William of Modena; this division of medieval Livonia was created by Papal Legate William of Modena in 1228 as a compromise between the church and the Livonian Brothers of the Sword, both factions led by Germans, after the German knights had conquered and subdued the territories of several indigenous tribes: Finnic-speaking Estonians and Livs, Baltic-speaking Latgalians, Selonians and Curonians. Medieval Livonia was intermittently ruled first by the Brothers of the Sword, since 1237 by the semi-autonomous branch of Teutonic knights called Livonian Order and the Roman Catholic Church. By the mid 14th century, after buying the Duchy of Estonia from Christopher II, the Livonian Order controlled about 67,000 square kilometers of the Old Livonia and the Church about 41000 km2.
The lands of the Order were divided into about 40 districts governed by a Vogt. The largest ecclesiastical state was the Archbishopric of Riga followed by the Bishopric of Courland, Bishopric of Dorpat, Bishopric of Ösel-Wiek; the nominal head of Terra Mariana as well as the city of Riga was the Archbishop of Riga as the apex of the ecclesiastical hierarchy. In 1240 Valdemar II created the Bishopric of Reval in the Duchy of Estonia by reserving the right to appoint the bishops of Reval to himself and his successor kings of Denmark; the decision to nominate to the See of Reval was unique in the whole Catholic Church at the time and was disputed by bishops and the Pope. During this era, the election of bishops was never established in Reval, the royal rights to the bishopric and to nominate the bishops were included in the treaty when the territories were sold to the Teutonic Order in 1346. Throughout the existence of medieval Livonia there was a constant struggle for superiority in the rule over the lands by the Church, the order, the secular nobles of German descent who ruled the fiefs and the citizens of the Hanseatic town of Riga.
Two major civil wars were fought in 1296–1330, 1313–1330, in 1343–1345 the Estonian revolt resulted in the annexation of the Danish Duchy of Estonia within the Teutonic Ordensstaat. Technically, the Archbishop of Riga was the feudal and ecclesiastical superior, first over the Teutonic Knights over the Liv